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Friday, April 16, 2010

Invention - the first phone

Perhaps more so than any other electronic consumer good, the telephone seems to be in constant evolution; from luxury good of the upper-classes only to household essential and now even internet-ready ‘smart phones' are flooding the market. It hasn't always been this way, as the first ever telephone was designed purely to transmit and receive electronic voice messages. From the early beginnings to the modern-day technologically savvy handsets, here is the history of the telephone.
Invention - the first phone

Who actually invented the telephone? Edinburgh-born Alexander Graham Bell, who is regularly cited as the device's inventor, and Elisha Gray both designed very similar devices and went to the patent office for approval within hours of each other, which spawned a famous legal battle between the two inventors, which Bell won.The telephone could be considered to be a direct ascendant of the telegraph, which preceded it technologically.
The first dial telephone was introduced in 1897 by the Automatic Electric Company, founded in 1891 by Alman Brown Strowger, a Kansas undertaker. In 1889, convinced that the Bell "central exchange" was diverting his incoming calls to a rival embalmer, Strowger invented the automatic switchboard system, which was controlled by a number-dialing system. The system was first installed in 1892 in LaPorte, IN. In Strowger's 1897 model telephone, however, the rotary dial had not holes, but depressions similar to gear teeth, along about 170 degrees of the edge of the dial discAlthough both communication devices are for transmitting messages electronically, the telegraph essentially only had the capacity to receive and send limited information through Morse code style tapping. It wasn't until Bell started to try and improve the telegraph, which had been in use for almost 30 years, that he inadvertently invented the telephone. Bell's background in music lead him to believe that several notes, or ‘messages' as he was interpreting them, could be sent along the wire simultaneously as they were at different pitches and therefore would not clash with each other.
Bell took his new invention and approached his future father in-law, Boston attorney Gardiner Greene Hubbard, for financial backing for his new ‘harmonic telegraph' invention. It was during this period that Bell met his assistant Thomas Watson and through continued development eventually produced a device in 1875 that could transmit speech electronically through a transmitter, receiver and an electrical wire. In March 1876, the first voice to be transmitted was that of Bell himself, in a move that marked the invention of the telephone and the death of the then inefficient telegraph.
The first telephone exchange was invented in 1889th year.

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